Three of the men’s teams took on West Hertfordshire opponents, the Men’s 2nd’s unfortunate to go 2-3 down on away turf. The Men’s 3rd’s and 5th’s meanwhile both enjoyed home advantage with the 3rd’s securing a 5-4 victory and the 5th’s, a 2-0 win keeping both Bedford sides sitting 2nd in their respective tables.
The other three men’s teams in action all had to travel away, the 4th’s heading to local rivals, Letchworth, where they suffered a 3-1 loss. Journeying further afield did nothing to curb the Men’s Vets or the Men’s 6th’s winning spirit. The Vets returned victorious from Winchmore Hill & Enfield, after a decisive 6-2 goal-scoring bonanza and the 6th’s kept a clean sheet, whilst bagging a pair for a 2-0 win over Rickmansworth.
All the ladies’ games, barring the Ladies’ 7th’s, who travelled to Bishops Stortford to snap up a brilliant 1-0 win over second in the table Stotford, were played out on the Club’s Chester Road home pitches.
The Ladies’ 6th’s battled hard against their high-flying Stevenage opponents and were unlucky to lose 3-2. The 5th’s meanwhile, earned themselves a fantastic 4-1 victory over Tring.
The Ladies’ 4th’s match proved to be a very defensive game for the Bedford team, against a tough Welwyn first eleven. Despite great commitment in defence, the Welwyn team managed to break through for a 2-0 win. Particular mention goes to young keeper, Amelia Barrow-Jones who, later in the day, also went on to have her 1st team debut for the Club.
The Ladies’ 3rd’s, with their double-header weekend, held both opponents to draws.
Saturday was particularly satisfying, taking on second in the table Wapping who, until this stage, had 11 wins and only 1 loss under their belt, meaning the 1-all draw felt like a victory for the Bedford squad. Sunday’s away fixture with UCL, despite holding them to a goalless draw was however, a little frustrating.
The Ladies’ 2nd’s game, versus Cambridge City, was a crowd-pleaser, with end-to-end action seeing tit-for-tat goals, and a penalty stroke against Bedford, in the first half. The second half restart brought much of the same.
With just two-minutes left on the clock until full-time, and the scoreline 4-all, Bedford won a short corner, and the potential to win the match.
The crowd thought it was going to be all over, but there was more thrilling action still to come, as the Cambridge side not only cleared the short corner but broke away in attack.
Suddenly, it was the Bedford side who found themselves defending a short corner, as the final whistle blew. The save, by keeper Kate Summerfield, would have guaranteed a pleasing draw against the Cambridge opposition. The drama was not done, however. A follow-up shot on goal resulted in yet another penalty stroke being awarded.
A gallant diving effort by Kate took her so close to robbing Cambridge of the win. Final score, 5-4 to Cambridge City.
Back in action with their first National League match of the New Year, the Ladies’ 1st’s secured an outstanding 3-1 victory over Chelmsford, with two goals for England Master’s player, Kelly Bingham, with the third being scored by Elli Priston.
The Men’s 1st’s return to league action next weekend but, in preparation, had a lively trials match on Sunday, involving 1st and 2nd team players, looking for potential movement up the Club for developing talent.
Sunday also saw a huge youth presence at the Club, with Northampton Saints bringing Girl’s and Boy’s squads over for Under 12’s and 14’s matches. The Under 8’s and two Under 10s teams were also in action heading over to Leighton Buzzard for a hugely enjoyable tournament.
At a slightly more sedate pace, but no less competitive, the regular Sunday morning Walking Hockey session topped-off the weekend’s action.